Changing your ISP - step by step guide
15th October 2009
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At some point or other, you may find yourself needing to change your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The reasons may be many and include cost, performance or customer service.

This guide gives the main steps to making the change.

One of the most important things for a business is to ensure continuity for incoming email.

e-mail – your own domain name

If you use an email address provided by your ISP, such as, then it is likely to disappear when you switch to a new ISP. This is a real headache if you use the address for business, and carries a risk of lost sales and enquiries.

The solution, if you do not do it already, is to use your own registered domain name for business email, e.g. Apart from the fact that a domain name email address looks a lot better for a business, it also makes it much easier to move painlessly from one ISP to another.

To ease the transition between ISPs, the best course is to first create your own domain name. If you have a domain name already, ensure that you know how to access the Domain Name Control panel of the name registrar, and skip to step 7 of the guide below.

If you already have your own domain name and it is registered by your existing ISP, you will need to make sure that it will continue to be active after you switch your broadband – or move control of the name to another name registrar.

Changing your ISP – Step by step

1. Get your own domain name. If you already have a domain name that you are using for email, skip to step 7.
2. In the domain name control panel, set the new email address(es) to forward to your existing email account. Note that newly created domain names take can take several hours to be effective throughout the internet.
3. Start using the new email address: Set it as Reply email address in your mail program (Outlook or whatever)
4. Change your email address on all your publicity material – business cards, website, flyers, brochures, etc. Also change it in any online profiles that may show it.
5. Change any internet logins or subscriptions you may have to the new email address.
6. Allow some time to pass to let people get used to the new email address. Point out the change to anyone who emails you to the old address. Perhaps email key contacts and tell them the new address.
7. Choose a new ISP. is a good place to start.
8. Ask for a MAC (Migration Authorisation) code from the old ISP.
9. Pass the MAC code to the new ISP, who will give you a go-live date.
10. At go-live:
a. Change your broadband router login to the new ISP.
b. Change the Server settings in your email client mail account (Outlook or similar) so that you can send out emails through the new ISP.
c. Change the email settings in your domain name control panel to point to the new email address.
d. If your web-hosting has moved, change the web pointers in your domain name control panel to point to the new web-server.
e. Check that everything works!

What else do you need to do?

If you have a bundled service, such as broadband combined with phone calls or TV service, you will need to make new arrangements for all the elements.

If you use web space from your current ISP to host your website, you need to make sure that the website can be moved to another provider (perhaps the one who is hosting your new domain name). Check with the website designer if necessary in case there are technical issues.

Jim Symington

Chiltern Business Computing Ltd - Computer services for business

07813 080053

About the Author

Jim S

Member since: 12th October 2009

Jim Symington is a director of Chiltern Business Computing Ltd. The company offers IT advice and support to smaller businesses. http:\\

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